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China Trade Quarterly (Issue 48)

Domestic Trade

Retail sales of consumer goods reached 26,317.8 billion yuan in 1-3Q17, up by 10.4% yoy. Online retail sales of goods, which accounted for 14.0% of total retail sales, increased markedly by 29.1% yoy over the period.

Ex-factory prices of industrial products have trended upward after a few months of correction and consolidation. The producer price index of industrial products gained 0.7% in October, rising for four consecutive months.

Both rural and urban households saw high single-digit growth in income in 1-3Q17: The per capita disposable income of rural households grew nominally by 8.7% yoy to reach 9,778 yuan; while that of urban households rose by 8.3% yoy in nominal terms to reach 27,430 yuan in 1-3Q17.

Growth in nominal fixed asset investment decelerated to 7.5% yoy in 1-3Q17 from 8.1% yoy in 2016, attributable to the slowing growth of FAI in the secondary industry.

State Council published the ‘Guiding Opinions on Actively Promoting Supply Chain Innovation and Application’ on 13 October. The document states the goals of establishing smart supply chain systems covering major sectors in China; nurturing around one hundred leading enterprises in global supply chains; and developing China into a major centre of global supply chain innovation and application by the end of 2020.

Entrepreneur Confidence Index stayed high at 127.3 in 3Q17, indicating the strong confidence among Chinese entrepreneurs in the secondary industry.

October PMI indicates growth moderation of the manufacturing sector. PMI dropped to 51.6 in October from its recent peak of 52.4 in September.

Non-manufacturing sector has expanded at a relatively fast pace recently. NMI stayed high at between 53.4 and 55.4 throughout August to October.


Foreign Trade

Both exports and imports maintained positive growth in October. Exports gained 6.9% yoy, while imports increased by 17.2% yoy in the month.

Exports to the US registered a relatively strong growth of 11.5% yoy in 1-3Q17. Exports to the EU, Japan and the ASEAN expanded by 8.8% yoy, 4.7% yoy and 8.3% yoy respectively over the same period.

Among provinces/ municipalities, Shaanxi witnessed the fastest year-on-year growth in exports in 1-3Q17, followed by Sichuan and Guizhou. Exports from Shaanxi, Sichuan and Guizhou soared by 48.6% yoy, 33.4% yoy and 31.2% yoy respectively over the period.

FDI rose slightly by 1.6% yoy to 618.6 billion yuan in 1-3Q17. FDI in the service sector accounted for 69.2% of the total FDI in 1-3Q17. Among the industries, FDI in the ‘construction industry’ and the ‘information transmission and computer services and software industry’ posted rapid growth of 41.2% yoy and 23.1% yoy respectively over the same period.

Foreign exchange reserves increased by US$ 51.7 billion in 3Q17, rising for two consecutive quarters. As at the end of September, the foreign exchange reserves amounted to US$ 3,108.5 billion.

The Chinese yuan has depreciated against the US dollar in recent months. The daily fixing rate of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar came in at 6.6399 on 14 November, depreciating from 6.4997 on 11 September.

Chinese and US firms signed US$253.5 billion worth of deals during Trump’s visit to China. Speaking after the signings of the deals, Trump said that he did not blame China for having large trade surplus against the US; instead, he blamed the past US administrations for that. Meanwhile, the Chinese President Xi Jinping described the China-US relationship as standing at a ‘new historic starting point’ and said that ‘cooperation is the only right option’.

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Content provided by Fung Business Intelligence
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